Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17th, 2009

Blog Manager:
"We made a gingerbread house. I pick-ed (the candy) it up and you put it on the gingerbread house. We ate gingerbread. I tasted the bread. I tasted cranberries and chocolate. We made butter out of milk. They shake-ed it to make it into butter. It tasted good on the crackers and bagel." -Lilly

Today we made homemade butter. Before we started our butter making activity, we observed the cream in the jar We knew cream came from cows, but thought that butter came right out of cows too.

We had to shake the cream in the butter jar. Some of us estimated it would take 10 minutes to turn the cream into butter, some of us said 100 minutes.

We had to practice patience as we waited our turn to shake the butter! We used all of our large muscles to shake the jar up and down. Some of us tried different methods to shake the jar like hitting it against our hand and pushing it across the table.

After the butter was made, we noticed the ways in which it had changed. We knew that the consistency got thicker, but the color didn't change. We realized that butter doesn't come out of cows - it takes alot of work by humans to make cream into butter!

Of course, we ate our homemade butter at snack.

We also baked gingerbread and decorated a gingerbread house today! James mom visited and helped us so much! We love when parent helpers come into teach and learn with us!

We got to use an electric mixer for the first time!

When we decorated our gingerbread house, we thought about how many pieces of candy was fair for each Baker to put on the house. We decided five pieces was fair - enough to help decorate, but not so many that other people wouldn't get a chance to also use the gingerbread house.

We practiced our math skills and used one-to-one correspondance to pick out five pieces of candy and put them in our bowls.

It took fine motor skills to place a small dollop of icing on the house to secure the candy.

We also ate the gingerbread we made with James' mom. Some of us thought the gingerbread was going to taste like chocolate because it was brown, but it didn't. We loved it so much that we ate all the crumbs in the pan! Yummy!

This is the last day of school before the break! See you January 5th!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16th, 2009

Today was so wet! We learned to ride trikes outside. It was a chance to develop our gross motor skills as we pedaled and used our arm muscles to guide the handlebars. We also practiced depth perception by estimating how far our friends were in front of us and leaving adequate room to stop.

We cheered on our friends and encouraged them to pedal as we rode around the track!

Today, we baked monkey bread. We cut biscuits into quarters (4 pieces). We then dipped the pieces in butter and rolled them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. We then put them in a pan and baked them for 30 minutes. The monkey bread recipe showed how proficient we are as bakers - we were able to follow the directions by reading the words and pictures and complete the recipe all on our own!

After we dipped the pieces of dough, we got to lick our fingers! Yummy!

The recipe was Sam's family recipe. He shared his family tradition that he makes this over the holidays.

In the writing center today, we used alphabet sheets to label our writing. We sounded out the words we wanted to write and used the alphabet sheets to write down the sounds we heard. We are WRITERS!

On Friday we will be making gingerbread and butter!

REMEMBER: Friday is the LAST day of school before break!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15th, 2009

Today was a great and busy day!

At our morning meeting, we were Problem Solvers. Our problem was that during centers, we found ourselves constantly in conflict over sharing the computers. We were not sure how much time was fair for people to spend on them. To solve the problem, we took turns suggesting how much time each person should get on the computer. Some Problem Solvers said 10 minutes, some said 6, some said 4, some said 3, some said 2, some said 1. Most people voted for 10 minute sessions on the computer. We will try 10 minutes and revisit our solution in a few weeks to think about whether it is still fair and is working for us.

For baking today, we made tortillas! We read a recipe, and took turns adding in the ingredients. This is always a test of patience, and we do so wonderfully respecting the materials and giving everyone a chance to participate. While mixing, we noticed that, unlike other bread recipes, tortillas don't have yeast in them. We predicted that the tortilla dough wouldn't rise without the yeast.

We mixed the batter first with a spoon.

When that didn't work, we adjusted our method. Some Bakers suggested we try using our hands instead of the spoon!

After mixing the batter, we divided the tortillas into little balls - one for each of us. We each got a turn using the tortilla press to flatten our balls of dough into the shape of skinny circles. We thought they looked like pancakes!

During afternoon centers, we cooked our tortillas in on a griddle. We knew they were done when they were slightly brown. We topped them with cheese. They were so delicious. We were right about the yeast! Since we didn't put yeast in the dough, it did not rise!!

On Thursday we will make gingerbread and butter!

Remember: Thursday is the last day of class before December break!